By BLAKE TOPPMEYER
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
Kelly Buresh spoke the way winners do.
The Quincy University women's basketball team had just defeated Rockhurst 67-55 Thursday in Great Lakes Valley Conference action at Pepsi Arena.
Buresh, QU's sophomore forward, was happy Quincy won for the eighth time in its last nine games. However, she wasn't real pleased QU allowed Rockhurst to grab 16 offensive rebounds and that Quincy committed 18 turnovers, marking its seventh straight game with 18 or more giveaways.
"We're not really satisfied with this win, to be honest," said Buresh, who scored a game-high 18 points. "We talked in the locker room afterward about how we have to cut down our turnovers. And we're so mad at ourselves about how many offensive boards they had. That's unacceptable, and each one of us know it, so we're going to come back (Friday) and work on that."
Buresh voiced the feelings of a team that in six week's time has experienced a change in mentality. In mid-December, Quincy was clinging onto any victory that would come its way. Now, the Lady Hawks expect high-caliber play on a nightly basis.
Quincy performed at that high level in the first half, when it shot 63.3 percent from the field to take a 44-27 lead into the intermission.
"We were all playing so well together in the first half," Buresh said. "We were seeing the open person. We were moving. We were cutting. We were using the inside-out game. It just flowed."
Rockhurst coach Larry Park said his team lost its poise in the opening half.
"We just didn't guard very well the first half, and they came out and were really with it," he said. "We gave up so dang many layups. You can't win, particularly on the road, when you let that happen."
QU (9-7, 7-1) led 48-29 after Hannah Weedman made a pair of free throws with 17 minutes, 57 seconds left in the second half. Rockhurst (4-11, 2-6) responded with an 11-4 run, cutting Quincy's lead to 52-40 after Shelby Geiman made a 3-pointer with 11:40 to play.
"We got a little bit lackadaisical and weren't playing as aggressive defense (in the second half)," said QU coach Jeni Garber, whose team remained in a tie for first place in the GLVC's West Division with Missouri S&T. "And they were getting offensive boards and putbacks."
Quincy experienced its largest lead after Buresh hit a 3-pointer -- her third of the night -- from the left corner with 3:58 remaining to give her team a 67-47 edge.
Rockhurst shot only 30 percent from the field, as Quincy improved to 9-0 in games it holds opponents to under 43 percent shooting. Quincy also dominated the paint, outscoring Rockhurst 28-12 there. Its advantage in that department was 22-4 at halftime.
"We knew we wanted to get the ball inside, whether that's penetration or get it into Hannah," Garber said. "We knew we had a little bit of an advantage there."
In addition to its offensive rebounding, Rockhurst relied on 3-point shooting. MaKayla Grahn went 3 of 3 from 3-point range and led Rockhurst with 11 points.
Quincy received balanced production throughout its starting lineup. Felisha Loggins supplied 15 points and 10 rebounds. Weedman scored 10 points. Maggie Cunningham had nine points and six rebounds. Lucy Cramsey ranked last among the starters with six points, but she compiled nine rebounds and a game-high seven assists.
For Loggins, it marked her fifth double-double of the season and third straight game in which she's reached double figures in scoring. She was 7 of 8 from the field and relentlessly attacked the rim.
Loggins said assistant coach Nathan Daume made that a point of emphasis with her after she scored four points and was 1 of 7 from the field in QU's 74-53 loss last Thursday at Missouri S&T
"Coach D got in my head. He said I should be a little more aggressive and more consistent," Loggins said. "So I took the initiative to try to be way more aggressive than I usually am. So I was attacking the rim. A lot of people always say I'm fast off the dribble, so I was just using my strength to my advantage."